University of California

The orange tortrix, Argyrotaenia citrana


A. J. Basinger

Author Affiliations

A. J. Basinger was Associate in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 11(11):633-669. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n11p633. September 1938.

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This paper presents data on the biology and economic importance4 of the orange tortrix, Argyrotaenia citrana (Fernald), which is the most important of several species of small moths, the larvae of which have caused damage for many years to the orange and occasionally to other citrus fruits in southern California. Other species considered to a lesser extent, are Holcocera iceryaeella (Riley), Platynota stultana Walsingham, and Pyroderces rileyi (Walsingham).

Systematic Position

The orange tortrix is a member of the Tortricidae, which is a family of small Lepidoptera including the leaf-rollers and bud moths. The species was described and placed in the genus Tortrix by Fernald in 1889, but its generic position has been somewhat uncertain in recent years. The author follows August Busck5 of the United States Department of Agriculture, who places it in the genus Argyrotaenia.


(Coquillett (1894))6 suspected that the orange tortrix was imported from some of the Pacific Islands. Prior to the inauguration of the rigid plantquarantine service in California, it could easily have been brought into this country in the egg, larval, or pupal stage on imported plants.

Literature Cited

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Basinger A. J. Notes on the orange worms, Argyrotaenia (Tortrix) citrana Fernald and Platynota stultana Wlsm. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1936. 29(1):131-34.

Basinger A. J., Boyce A. M. Progress report on orange worm control. California Citrograph. 1935. 22(6):158 178-79.

Basinger A. J., Boyce A. M. Orange worms in California and their control. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1936. 29(1):161-68.

Bondar G. Insectos damninhos á agricultura. Fasciculo iii—Pragas das laranjeiras e outras auranciaceas. [Insects injurious to agriculture. Part III—Pests of orange trees and other aurantiaceae.]. 1915. Brazil: Duprat &; Co. São Paulo. 47p. Abstracted in: Rev. Appl. Ent., Series A, 4:201.1916. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.60088 [CrossRef]

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Chappelow William, Howard L. O. Injury by the orange leaf-roller. Some miscellaneous results of the work of the Division of Entomology, III. 1898. 18:U. S. Dept. Agr. Div. Ent. Bul. 99p. n.s. 1-101.

Clemente Frederico Gomez. El Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Muls. parasito del Pseudococcus citri Risso. [Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Muls., a parasite of Pseudococcus citri Risso.]. 1929. Valencia, Spain: Estación Regional de Patologia Vegetal. 47p.

Coquillett D. W., Riley C. V. Report on some of the injurious insects of California. The orange leaf-roller (Tortrix citrana Fernald). Reports of observations and experiments in the practical work of the division. 1894. 32:U. S. Dept. Agr. Div. Ent. Bul. 24p. o.s. 1-59.

Essig E. O. Injurious and beneficial insects of California. 1915. 2nd ed.California State Printing Office, Comm. Hort. Mo. Bul. Sup. lxxxi + 541p. p. (See specifically p. 441.) DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.36435 [CrossRef]

Fernald C. H. North American microlepidoptera, Tortrix citrana n. sp. Entomologica Americana. 1889. 5(1):18

Lange Harry W. The biology of the orange tortrix, Eulia (Argyrotaenia) citrana Fern. California State Dept. Agr. Mo. Bul. 1936. 25(2):283-85.

McGregor E. A. Platynota stultana Wlsm. (Lepidoptera) damaging green oranges in southern California. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1934. 27(5):974-77.

Muesebeck C. F. W. A revision of the North American species of ichneumon flies belonging to the genus Apanteles. U. S. Natl. Mus. Proc. 1920. 58(2349):483-576. (See specifically p. 522.)

Quayle H. J. The orange tortrix (Tortrix citrana Fernald). Jour. Econ. Ent. 1910. 3(5):401-403.

Quayle H. J. The orange tortrix, cause of decay. California Citrograph. 1918. 3(6):133

Viereck H. L. Contributions to our knowledge of bees and ichneumon flies, including the descriptions of twenty-one new genera and fifty-seven new species of ichneumon flies. U. S. Natl. Mus. Proc. 1912. 42(2882):613-48. (See specifically “Apanteles (Apanteles) aristoteliae, new species,” p. 613, and “A panteles gelechiae, new species,” p. 615). DOI: 10.5479/si.00963801.42-1920.613 [CrossRef]

Watson J. R., Berger E. W. Citrus insects and their control. Florida Agr. Ext. Ser. Bul. 1932. 67:1-140. (See specifically p. 107-108.)

Weldon G. P. Insect notes. California State Comm. Hort. Mo. Bul. 1914. 3(3):168

Basinger A. 1938. The orange tortrix, Argyrotaenia citrana. Hilgardia 11(11):633-669. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n11p633

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